What you should know about Kratom Withdrawal
According to the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Kratom or Mitragynine Speciosa acts on the opiate receptors found in the brain the same way morphine does. The interaction between Kratom and opiate receptors has been documented in numerous scientific journals. Once it is consumed, the alkaloids in Kratom will result in numerous effects in the brain key of which is changing the chemical composition in this vital organ. It’s also due to the interaction between Kratom and opiate receptors that the herb has been used for the treatment of opioid withdrawal symptoms. Kratom works so well in this function as it helps to curb the cravings of opioid receptors for actual opiates, thus helping you to stay clear from the dangerous drugs.
The good news here is that Kratom is much safer than opiates. It’s also believed to be less addictive as compared to opiates. Here is the problem though, the longer you use Kratom, the higher the risk for addiction. There is also evidence showing that as your body builds a tolerance to Kratom, your addiction to the herb also increases. In the end, therefore, you could be using Kratom to avoid a harmful opiate, but then you’ll end up replacing one addiction for another.
The worrying thing is that Kratom addiction is not just a problem exclusively faced by guys who are treating opiate withdrawal symptoms. You could also be using Kratom for pain relief or to relieve anxiety and stress and still end up developing an addiction. As you can expect, the risk for addiction increase as you increase the dosages you are taking and the duration you’ve been taking the herb.
Once, your body gets used to the herb, any attempts to stop taking it will result in some very undesirable withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms are understandably very similar to opioid withdrawal, but luckily, they are nowhere as severe.
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms can be classified into psychological and physical:
Psychological Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
The most dominant psychological symptoms include anxiety, depression, loneliness, mood swings, and some unexplainable feeling of sadness. It’s important to note that these symptoms can get really severe, and you could easily find yourself very depressed, especially if you continue to stay clear of Kratom without taking any medication to deal with the symptoms.
Users will experience the onset of these symptoms in as little as a couple of hours since their last dose. On the other end, the symptoms can disappear in as little as five days, or they could go on for well over a month. It really comes down to how addicted you were and any measures you might have taken to deal with the symptoms.
Physical Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
There are dozens of physical Kratom withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Runny noise
- Physical tremors
- Dilated pupils
- Sleep disturbance
- Jerky movements of the legs and arms
- Excessive sweating
The severity of Kratom Withdrawal Symptoms
The above symptoms are the most common, but users might not always experience all of them. The symptoms will vary from one user to the next, and the severity of the said symptoms also tends to vary. This explains why some people usually have an easier time quitting Kratom, unlike others. While it’s difficult to give you a precise scale on how mild or severe your symptoms will be, we can give you several factors that will help you understand what exactly you can expect.
Type of Kratom Strain Used – By now, you already know that not all Kratom strains are the same. Some are more potent than others. You should also know that the same Kratom strain may differ in concentration as you move from one vendor to the next. Sometimes a vendor could even adjust the concentration of their strains as they make new batches. The severity of your symptoms will hugely vary depending on how concentrated the strain you’ve been taking is. Obviously, the more concentrated the strain is, the harsher the symptoms will be. I’ve always been of the opinion that extremely high concentrated Kratom strains are not really that helpful. Yes, they slap harder than standard strains, but the tradeoff is just too much. Not only are you likely to develop tolerance a lot faster, but as we’ve just learned, the withdrawal symptoms after taking such strains are normally very severe.
Duration of Kratom Use – If you’ve been taking Kratom for say 10 months and you start feeling like you cannot function without it; your attempt to quit is likely to be very smooth. Meanwhile, if you’ve been taking all sorts of Kratom strains for years, quitting the herb will leave you nursing some really severe withdrawal symptoms.
Mental Health History – Based on vast user experiences, Kratom withdrawal symptoms can be really bad if you have a history of mental health issues such as depression. This is somewhat tricky because we know that some people are primarily using Kratom to ease anxiety, stress, and depression. However, there is still no clinical evidence explaining this correlation.
Kratom Withdrawal Timeline
One of the biggest challenges with Kratom from its benefits, dosage, and even withdrawal symptoms is the lack of sufficient clinical trials. This leaves a lot of unknown details, making it rather hard to comprehend almost everything about Kratom. We see the same problems when studying Kratom withdrawal timeline. Almost all the details known about this timeline are based on anecdotal evidence rather than factual scientific data. The good news is that the evidence has been consistent for years and hence, to some extent, it seems to be reliable.
Based on the user experiences, Kratom withdrawal symptoms should start to manifest between 6-12 hours after the last dose. This phase is marked with one or more symptoms, and they are usually just mild. You can expect increased cravings for Kratom and other symptoms such as anxiety, runny nose, sweating, muscle pain, and insomnia.
As time progresses, the symptoms become more severe, and they usually peak in 2-4 days. This is the point where users will experience almost all sorts of symptoms ranging from dilated pupils to tremors, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and so much more.
After a week or so (7-10 days), the symptoms start to subside. Most people will report feeling much better after seven days, but some people may have to wait a bit longer.
Take note that the above timeline is based on estimates and hence the exact timeline for your unique case may vary with a day or so.
How do you treat Kratom Withdrawal?
The first line of Kratom withdrawal treatment is visiting a detox center. This is where you will meet professionals who will help to remove Kratom in your system in a manner that will minimize the withdrawal symptoms. This is normally approached on one of two ways: You could either go through tapering treatment or medication-assisted treatment.
Tapering treatment is where the medical personnel will guide you on how exactly you should quit Kratom. This is normally done in stages, but the bottom line here is that you do not stop taking Kratom suddenly. This has a rebound effect on your brain, which will result in severe withdrawal symptoms as well as increasing the risk of relapse. Under tapering treatment, you will be guided on how you can reduce the doses of Kratom you are taking gradually. This gives your brain the time it needs to readjust to the changes in the amount of Kratom alkaloids in the system. As a result, the symptoms are likely to be mild while also reducing the likelihood of relapse.
Under medication-assisted treatment, you will be subjected to both medications and behavioral therapy. The detox professionals will use different kinds of medications, including anti-depressants and anxiolytic medicines, to reduce the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. The combination of these medications and behavioral therapy should facilitate a comfortable transition while also minimizing the risk for relapse. You should know that medication-assisted treatment can take quite a long time, depending on the level of addiction. The good news is that there are both inpatient and outpatient treatment options. Some facilities will also provide partial hospitalization, which is really good particularly to guys who abused so much Kratom and are afraid of relapse yet they don’t want to commit for inpatient treatment.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations explains that detox alone cannot provide the desired outcomes regardless of the type of treatment utilized. Instead, they recommend that patients should also go through ongoing addiction treatment in the form of mental counseling. That’s because Kratom addiction also has some psychological aspects to it, and hence counseling will help to provide the perfect recovery with the lowest risk of relapse possible.